Twitter and the Future of Location Based Social Networking

With the recent announcement that Facebook was joining the likes of FourSquare and GoWalla with their own Places location based service, will Twitter follow next? If so, what does the future have in store for social networking?

Places was announcement early this week. It’s a service that emulates the location based “check in” services of GoWalla and FourSquare. Twitter announced last year around this time that it too would soon add the ability for users to “check in”, add photos to and possibly even unlock badges and gain awards with each check in.

Now that Facebook has followed suit, many believe that Twitter will shortly go public with their own similar functionality. It wouldn’t take much for Twitter to release a location based features since earlier this year it added the ability for people to tag a tweet with corresponding lat and long, which in essence, is all Twitter needed to do to position itself to compete with GoWalla and FourSquare in the future.

So, what will happen when Twitter releases its GoWalla and FourSquare killer? As in all things in nature, something has to give. I have a feeling that GoWalla and FourSquare will either be integrated/purchased by Facebook or Twitter in the future or they will go the way of the AOL and MySpace dinosaur. With Twitter and Facebook as the two mega Goliath social networks online, it will be extremely difficult if not impossible for any other location based social network to compete.

So, if your business is currently using GoWalla, FourSquare or another location based social network, there isn’t reason to fret yet but you should be seriously looking into also becoming familiar and comfortable with using Facebook’s Places and whatever Twitter ends up coming out with because those are likely the two main location based networks you will be using in the future, not GoWalla and not FourSquare.

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